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Netanyahu: Only Israel can demilitarize Gaza

"No international force can be responsible for this," the Israeli prime minister added.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds a press conference at the Ministry of Defense in Tel Aviv. Nov. 22, 2023. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds a press conference at the Ministry of Defense in Tel Aviv. Nov. 22, 2023. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.

Israel will not accept any international force in the Gaza Strip, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a primetime address on Tuesday night.

“Gaza must be demilitarized, and there is only one force that can take care of this demilitarization,” Netanyahu said in Hebrew. “This force is the Israel Defense Forces. No international force can be responsible for this.”

“We saw what happened in other places where international forces were brought in for the purpose of demilitarization. I am not willing to close my eyes and accept any other arrangement,” the premier added.

Netanyahu switched to English as he turned to the United Nations, international human rights organizations and women’s rights groups, many of which have been silent about Hamas’s crimes against Israeli women on Oct. 7.

“I say to them: Where are you? Are you silent because we’re talking about Jewish women?” Netanyahu said. “You’ve heard of the rape of Israel women, horrible atrocities, sexual mutilation. Where the hell are you?”

Netanyahu demanded that “all civilized nations” speak out against the terror group.

Last week, U.N. Women—the body’s entity charged with advocating for women’s empowerment—issued a statement on reports of Hamas’s gender-based crimes that occurred on Oct. 7, calling for a probe.

Netanyahu again vowed on Tuesday to eliminate “anyone who kidnapped, raped and murdered our people.”

“We shall not forget and not forgive,” he concluded.

‘Not agree to concede security control’

Netanyahu has repeatedly stressed that Jerusalem will maintain security control over Gaza after its forces complete the goal of defeating Hamas.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz on Nov. 11, Netanyahu said: “The IDF will continue to have security control over the Gaza Strip for as long as necessary to prevent terrorism from it.”

“The massacre on Oct. 7 proved once and for all wherever there is no Israeli security control, terrorism will return and establish itself,” said Netanyahu. “Therefore, I will not agree to concede security control under any circumstances.”

Netanyahu made similar remarks in a meeting with mayors of Gaza border towns a day earlier, and on Nov. 6 in an ABC News interview.

Israel has informed Arab countries in the region and the United States that it intends to establish a post-war buffer zone on the Gaza side of the border.

“Israel wants this buffer zone between Gaza and Israel from the north to the south to prevent any Hamas or other terrorists from infiltrating or attacking Israel,” a senior regional security official told Reuters over the weekend.

Thousands of Hamas terrorists stormed the security fence on Oct. 7, rampaging across the northwestern Negev, murdering approximately 1,200 people, wounding more than 5,000 others and taking more than 200 hostages back to Gaza.

Jerusalem’s war goals are to free all of the captives, destroy Hamas and ensure that Gaza never again becomes a threat to the Jewish state.

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